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Sunday November 23, 2014

Nation State Spying Malware Revealed

Symantec announced the company has found a new and very complicated malware that operates in five stages. It is so sophisticated that the back-door Trojan has been in use since 2008 without detection.

The level of quality and the amount of effort put into keeping it secret convinces Symantec that it is a primary cyberespionage tool of a nation state.

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The Crew Finally Heading to Open Beta

You will have one last chance to Beta test The Crew this week for several days only. Ubisoft’s The Crew is scheduled for release on December 2nd on Xbox One and PS4.

The Open Beta will include the full map of the United States with five regions open and available for play.

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Steam’s Fall Sale Starts on November 26

Get ready to open your wallet, get set to buy, and now go spend. It’s that time again when Steam will be offering great deals on games that will manage to drain your wallet dry. The early start date was outed by PayPal to get you ready for the big upcoming event. Check out the Shop Now link for big savings.

Valve has yet to announce the date, but PayPal knows what it’s talking about.

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The Deluxe Edition of Titanfall Released This Week

To stave off any decline in the number of players online and to keep the servers humming, Electronic Arts quietly released Titanfall Deluxe Edition which contains all content packs released to date and it’s actually priced lower that the original game. eek!

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1Q14, Netflix Streamed 6.5 Billion Hours of Videos

If you don’t think Netflix is kicking some major butt in the streaming business, check out these figures. In just the last year alone, Netflix’ data usage rose from 2.5M terabytes each month to 6.5M and still increasing.

This explosive growth in hours viewed shows cord cutting is growing. Both in numbers of canceled cable TV bills and in the silently growing majority who watch less and less cable TV every month.

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Intel Plans 3D NAND Flash Next Year

How does as much storage as you want sound to you? It’s apparent that storage junkies will never be totally satisfied with any given solution, but Intel’s introduction of its 3D NAND flash may help to ease your storage pains.

We’re no longer having to make a compromise on how much storage we can fit in there. Within the next two years, Intel plans to build storage cards for enterprise servers that have more than 10TB of capacity.

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Macintosh Pirate Flag Reincarnated as Art

The iconic flag that once adorned the Apple headquarters back in the day when the fledgling business was viewed more as a rogue company than today’s slick, polished corporation is about to make a reappearance. The original designer of the Macintosh pirate flag is re-introducing the hand painted pirate flag as artwork for those with deep pockets. Har, Har, Har big grin

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NYC Replaces Payphones with City-Wide Free Wi-Fi, Calls

It’s a good time to be a New Yorker, especially for Wi-Fi users. The city of New York is in the process of replacing all of the city’s payphones and updating the outdated boxes with brand new Wi-Fi hotspots, up to 10K of them, all across five boroughs.

With this proposal for the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world -- accessible to and free for all New Yorkers and visitors alike -- we’re taking a critical step toward a more equal, open and connected city -- for every New Yorker, in every borough.

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New Chromebook Owners Get 1TB Google Drive Storage Free

Have you been thinking of picking up a new Chromebook during the holidays? If you were waiting for something to push you over into the Plus column, how about a 1TB Google Drive storage thrown in for free?

Still, once that Chromebook is unwrapped and activated, the redemption is easy to do and links right to your Chromebook.

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Zalman is Not Going Bankrupt, Restructuring Under Way

Zalman issued a statement on Thursday reassuring its customers that the company isn’t going under despite the actions of its parent company. The company is question is Moneual, recently charged with cooking the books to secure loans.

So it seems likely Zalman is going to survive and continue to offer cooling solutions for the PC market.

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'Miracle' Tech Turns Water into Fuel

We’ve all heard these claims for many years about turning water into fuel and now it seems, that those rumors are very true. Sunfire, a German firm, has produced a machine that can take ordinary water and carbon dioxide and produce a useable synthetic fuel. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction.

The rig, at this stage, is for demonstration and feasiblity purposes; its capacity for CO2 recycling is currently at around 3.2 tonnes per day, and it has the capacity to produce a barrel of fuel per day.

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Everything Amazon Is Supposedly Working On

Amazon always has hot irons in the fire and is constantly looking for more innovative projects to occupy the time. Gizmodo has made a short list of what might be on the burners in the near future for the Amazon Team.

Amazon's Prime offerings have been getting better and better and better, but it looks like that's only part—if a big part—of the once-bookseller's plans to take over every part of your world.

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Microsoft Confirms That Windows 10 Kernel Will be 10.0

Microsoft confirmed the company is finally getting its stuff together, literally. The next version of Windows will be designated 10 and to go with that designation, the kernel version will also be 10. That doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but it will be the first time in a great while that version matched kernel.

This large jump in version number is likely related to the massive overhaul of the underlying components of the OS to make it the core for all of Microsoft's products.

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Saturday November 22, 2014

Duke It Out in Middle-Earth Via Google’s Chrome Experiment

If you haven’t tried out the experience of the Google’s Chrome Experiment in Middle Earth, now would be a good time to give it a look. The experiment has been ongoing, but new content has been added to correspond with the upcoming release of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. It’s entertaining and it’s free. cool

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Amazon Starts Shipping the Fire TV Stick

Amazon bills the Fire TV Stick as their fastest and most successful product launch ever and announced on Friday that the Fire Stick will begin shipping immediately. Preorders will come first, but you can place your order and wait in line for shipment on a first come, first served basis.

Fire TV Stick has been our most successful device launch ever. We built a ton of these, but customer demand still outpaced our supply.

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European Parliament to Call for Breakup of Google

A report from Financial Times says that the European Parliament is making preparations to draft a proposal to break up Google’s search engine from other Google services. The Parliament has no official standalone power of its own, but recommends actions to the European Commission.

The matter underscores worry over Google's expansive reach and the search giant's potential to abuse its influence to hurt competitors.

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Game of Thrones Game Receives Its Debut Trailer

Telltale Games has released a short teaser trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones rollout. The games will be episodic, following the show’s TV seasons and will star many of the original cast members. Game of Thrones will be available on all popular platforms sometime later this year.

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AMD Details Carrizo Mobile APU Chips Coming in 2015

AMD announced the upcoming release of its new mobile processors, Carrizo and Carrizo-L this week. The chips will ship in quad-core and dual-core versions, supporting DDR3 and DDR4 and will be available sometime in 2015.

Carrizo will be our APU that's targeting right at the heart of performance mobile and all-in-one for 2015.

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Hackers Just Exposed Thousands of Gamer Passwords

If you have an account on the PlayStation Network, 2K Game Studios or Windows live, there is a chance your account may have been hacked and leaked to Pastebin as proof of the hack. A hacker group going by the name of DerpTrolling has claimed responsibility for the breaches. It is recommended that if you have an account with any of these networks, that you change your password ASAP.

The DerpTrolling group insists it wants to force these major gaming companies — Sony, Microsoft, and 2K — into upgrading their servers to prevent this type of hacking.

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Dish Restores CNN, Cartoon Network in Contract Extension

For all of you Dish customers who suddenly lost channels from Turner Broadcasting last month, good news is on the way. Turner came to terms with Dish Network this week to restore all of the lost channels.

Today’s contract extensions don’t give Dish rights to Turner channels for its forthcoming Internet-delivered television package; Turner and Dish are still negotiating those terms, and expect an agreement will be part of the next long-term deal.

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Mythbusters vs. Gorilla Glass

Gorilla Glass is touted to be toughest around. To prove how tough or break-resistant the glass actually is, The Mythbusters have taken up the challenge to test the limits of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 in their own unique way. cool

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T-Mobile Unleashes $5 a Month Overseas Calling Plan

Simple Choice T-Mobile customers now have an even simpler choice in overseas calling. T-Mobile has introduced a $5 a month international unlimited calling plan for your entire account.

This offer starts today and goes through the end of the year, but once added to your account, everyone on your account with a Simple Choice plan can enjoy the benefits for as long as you keep Stateside International Talk on your account.

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Aereo Loses Battle, Cord-Cutters May Win War

The death knell has finally sounded for the little re-broadcaster company Aereo. It was always a David and Goliath story from the beginning, but in this case, Goliath won out. The trend setting company may have lost the decision to operate, but may have in the process opened up more streaming content for cord-cutters as a side benefit. Aereo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.

Aereo tried to come up with other legal arguments. None of them proved sufficient. In the end, Aereo decided that it wasn't worth pursuing the case any further.

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Sony Drops Steve Jobs Movie

The on-again/off-again Steve Jobs movie is now officially off-again. With a shakeup of cast members and an uncertain future, Sony has withdrawn its financial support, leaving the picture high and dry. There’s still an outside chance of it making it to the big screen with other companies, namely Universal and other film studios, who are looking into picking up the project from Sony.

Despite the surprise development, Sorkin’s script still has a chance of coming to life at some stage – Universal is apparently showing a strong interest in the project.

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WalMart Tightens Its Price-Matching Policy

Fool me once and all that Gomer-esque wisdom hasn’t fallen on deaf ears over at the hallowed corporate halls of WalMart. Not a corporation to fall for the same exploit twice and in light of the scam WalMart fell victim to this week, the company has revised and tightened its price-matching policy.

This kind of activity is unfair to the millions of customers who count on us every day for honest value. With this in mind, we’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from Walmart.com and 30 major online retailers.

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Chrome 40 Beta Arrives with Revamped Bookmarks Manager, No SSL 3.0

Right on the heels of the release of the stable version of Chrome 39, Google has already pushed out Chrome Beta 40. Few details are available now, but the rollout will be staggered to beta testers over the next few weeks.

As for the SSL protocol, Google already disabled the fallback to version 3.0 in Chrome 39. In Chrome 40, the company is removing SSL 3.0 completely.

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Microsoft Patches Surface Pro 3

If you are one of the many who purchased a Surface Pro 3 and have experienced problems connecting to wireless networks, Microsoft has just the patch you are looking for. The update is now available.

Users have complained about problems with accessing wireless networks, and the update released on Wednesday should help fix any problems they’ve encountered.

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One of the Best Xbox One Exclusives of the Year is Free Today

For today only, Xbox Live Gold Subscribers will be able to download Sunset Overdrive for free. You only have today to grab this little goodie, so chop chop on the download. big grin

Microsoft is also giving away a bunch of digital goodies to everyone who bought an Xbox One before November 11th.

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New Report Claims 81 Percent of Tor Users Can Be Identified

In a newly released report, 81% of Tor users are still vulnerable to being identified by IP address through a process called Traffic Confirmation, that measures and matches up large amounts of data traffic originating from Tor nodes.

The Tor Project has responded to the claims via a blog post in which it explains that the network has never been designed to combat a technique such as traffic confirmation.

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Friday November 21, 2014

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our evaluation of the In Win D-Frame Mini, followed by our NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 SLI 4K and NV Surround Review. Finally, we wrapped things up with our Far Cry 4 Video Card Performance and IQ Preview.

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